Did you know the average cost of moving house in the UK is almost £9000? This includes selling your old property, buying a new one and associated moving costs. Add to that the stress of finding a new home, moving in and adapting it to your taste. It’s no wonder so many people are choosing to add an extension to their current home instead. Building home extensions is one of EPM Building Solutions most popular services.
An extension can add value and extra room to your current home. By managing the build effectively, you can do it on a limited budget. The overall cost will depend on several factors. For example, the size of the room, the number of storeys and the quality of the building materials you use. To help you make the most of your moolah, here are our top tips on building a home extension on a budget.
Extend or convert?
First up, do you need to build an extension or can you make use of existing internal space? You can convert a dusty old garage or loft full of junk into an office or bedroom for less than the cost of an extension.
Get three quotes for your home extension
If you’re hell-bent on extending your home and no other option will do, get yourself three quotes for the work. Any builder worth his fibre reinforced concrete should provide a quote which includes a detailed breakdown of the work. A quote should include:
- Initial clearance – e.g. removing internal walls or patio
- Structural clearance – e.g. removing pipework or internal load-bearing walls
- Electrical works 1st fix – e.g. wiring
- Electrical works 2nd fix – e.g. light and appliance switches
- Plumbing works 1st fix – e.g. install hot and cold feeds and piping
- Plumbing works 2nd fix – e.g. install new radiators
- Sewerage goods – e.g. install waste supplies and underground waste pipes
- Rainwater goods – e.g. guttering and downpipes
- Tile work
- Steel installation – e.g. install lintels above windows and steels
- Foundation – excavation and installing concrete footings
- Ground floor subfloor
- Woodwork 1st fix – e.g. structural timbers to create new roof area
- Woodwork 2nd fix – e.g. install skirting boards and doors
- Plasterboard and plaster works
- External windows and doors
- Roofing works
- Exterior render
- External stone works
- Garden – make good all areas of work
- Internal/external decoration
- Waste removal
A word of warning. The cheapest quote may not end up being cost-effective overall. Some builders may offer you a low quote to secure the business, then charge you over the odds for changes. Never pay for the whole job up front as you won’t have any leverage if they do a poor job. Most builders will agree to a staggered payment schedule, which will include a final payment once the job is complete.
Choose a good builder
If you choose the right builder, you’ll keep your costs down and minimise your stress levels. Ask your pals for recommendations. Or Facebook, there’s always somewhere out there ready and willing to share their opinion with you. Ask for references or do a site visit to a completed job and see the quality of the builder’s work. And trust your instincts. If something feels off, don’t hire them no matter how cheap they are.
Keep it simple
If you’re hankering after a gothic architecture-inspired design to rival the cathedral in Barcelona, it will cost you some serious cash. Use a simple design, your average square or rectangle with a standard pitched roof to keep costs down.
Put together detailed plans for your home extension
You know that old saying; the devil is in the detail? When building an extension, the devil will make you pay more if you don’t stick to your meticulously detailed plans. If you’re clear about what you want up front, you will avoid additional costs of making changes later on.
If you make any changes, get a price from the builder before they do the work. Ask them to provide you with an amended quote so you can monitor your budget.
Buy off the shelf not bespoke
Buy standard sized products such as doors and windows to help keep you within budget. Look out for end-of-line materials or ex-displayed models and grab yourself some bargains. You can also buy some items second hand. There are several places to try. Online market places like Facebook or Gumtree, salvage yards or how about a local auction house? You might pick up some items at a liquidated stock sale for a reduced price.
Use a non-VAT registered builder
Now, we’re not advocating paying in cash and dodging the taxman here. We’re merely pointing out that some smaller firms may not earn enough to hit the VAT threshold, so won’t charge VAT for labour. You’ll still pay VAT on materials. However, if you buy some secondhand, you can save more on the price of your home extension.
If you’re looking for a builder to help you build your home extension on a budget, contact EPM Building Solutions for a free, no-obligation consultation.